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China Condemns Olympic Boycott as Australia Joins In

The UK says it is weighing its options, while Beijing says Washington will “pay a price” for its actions

China Winter Olympics
A security guard stands at the gate of the Big Air venue that will see competition in freestyle skiing and snowboarding for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Shougang. Photo: AFP


China on Tuesday accused the US of betraying Olympic principles with its diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Games as Australia joined in and the UK said it was weighing its options.

Australian government officials would also not attend the event, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday.

Morrison said Beijing had not yet made any attempts to respond to several issues raised by Australia, including alleged human rights abuses.

Britain is considering approving a limited government attendance that would stop short of a full boycott, The Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that Britain was yet to take a decision.

Human Rights ‘Atrocities’

The moves follow a White House announcement on Monday that US government officials will boycott the Winter Olympics because of China’s human rights “atrocities”.

However, the action allows American athletes to travel to Beijing to compete.

In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing that his country opposes the boycott and promised “resolute countermeasures” in response.

“The US will pay a price for its mistaken acts,” he said, without giving details. “Let’s all wait and see.”

The Winter Games are scheduled for February 4-20 in locations in and around Beijing.


  • Reuters with additional editing by George Russell





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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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